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D'backs' offense should be D'valued


D'backs' offense should be D'valued
Yeah, Bob Melvin got a raw deal.

But the story with the Diamondbacks shouldn't be about Melvin failing to get the most out of his young hitters as much as management seemingly overestimating them.

Melvin was fired Thursday and replaced by executive A.J. Hinch, 34. It seemed odd, guaranteeing someone with zero experience as a coach or manager through 2012. But those who best know the Stanford grad are confident he'll handle the job.

An overhaul might be needed first.

Remember the 2007 season when this up-and-coming group reached the National League Championship Series despite getting outscored during the regular season and despite several young players with low batting averages?

We were told they had fabulous upsides and would blossom into dynamic big-league hitters.

We're still waiting. This is a homers-or-bust lineup with little ability to manufacture runs. Despite a hitters' park, the average and on-base percentage are worst in the league, and the only team with fewer runs is the Giants.

Center fielder Chris Young hit .237 in '07 and .248 in '08. This year, he's at .193 and facing a possible demotion to the minors. Last year, third baseman Mark Reynolds struck out a record 204 times. This year, he's on pace for 203.

Chris Snyder is hitting .233, Chad Tracy .213 and might be losing his job, Eric Byrnes .190 and Conor Jackson .184 with one homer since August. Now on the disabled list, shortstop Stephen Drew is hitting .205.

An exception: Justin Upton, .309.

The Diamondbacks made the playoffs in 2007 and went 20-8 in April 2008. Since then, they've been dreadful, and management has done little to change the offense except replace Orlando Hudson with Felipe Lopez and lose Adam Dunn.

So that's Melvin's fault? There was friction with general manager Josh Byrnes, who reportedly had some say with the lineup card, but management overvaluing the offense is what cost Melvin, and Brandon Webb's ailing shoulder didn't help.

The Diamondbacks went 3-for-26 with runners in scoring position in Hinch's first two games, both losses, before outlasting Washington 10-8 Sunday.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 11, 2009

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